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What you need to know about switching to a VoIP service in Roseville
Switching to a VoIP service usually involves some upfront effort and costs. Over the long-term, however, you can make substantial savings on calling costs and have access to what were once enterprise-class features. If this sounds like a fair exchange, here’s what you need to know about switching to a VoIP service in Roseville.
You may need to upgrade your IT infrastructure significantly
With the traditional telephone network (including the cellular network), the telco takes care of just about everything. The most the average customer needs to do is buy an endpoint (phone) and, if relevant, connect it to a phone socket. With VoIP essentially you are your own telco. You will probably use a VoIP service vendor to help, but you will need to ensure that your own infrastructure is, literally, up to speed before you bring them on board. Depending on what you want to do, this can require a substantial upfront investment.
It’s vital to scope your implementation project realistically
For many companies, the best way to implement a VoIP project is to start by assuming that all you’re going to be doing is replicating the existing telephone service. Scope out a project to do that and nothing more. Then think about your needs and wants both in the present and in the foreseeable future. Research what that means in terms of bandwidth and hence what it means for your IT infrastructure.
You can then make an informed decision on whether you want to undertake one major upgrade of your IT infrastructure or if you’d prefer to upgrade incrementally. The advantage of the first approach is that it saves time and effort further down the line and can reduce overall costs. The advantage of the second approach is that it can make it much easier to manage your finances. You can put some of the early cost-savings towards the later purchases and also make them at times when they suit your cash-flow.
Regardless of which option you pick for your infrastructure, it is usually best to keep the initial VoIP implementation to a like-for-like replacement of your existing VoIP system. Not only does this keep the project simpler (and therefore more affordable and possibly quicker), but it also allows you to make meaningful comparisons between your old system and your new one.
Your internet connection needs to be reliable as well as fast
The guideline speeds for VoIP are a minimum of 0.1Mbps per audio line and a minimum of 0.3Mpbs per video connection. Please note, however, that 0.3Mpbs will only (just) be suitable for low-quality webcams. For higher quality, you need higher speeds, up to 1.2Mpbs for HD video.
These speeds need to be upstream and downstream so for asynchronous connections, you’ll need to check the upstream speed as this can be much slower than the downstream speed. They’ll also need to take into account the need for security checks on the data packets (in both directions).
Ideally, you’ll be achieving these speeds using a maximum of 80% of your bandwidth, even at peak times. This will help to minimize latency, jitter, and packet loss, all of which can lead to issues with call quality. When considering that target, remember to account for your other network traffic as well. You can (and usually should) prioritize VoIP traffic over other network traffic, but that doesn’t mean you should be happy about letting everything else grind to a halt when the phones are in use.
If you don’t already have a backup internet connection, then you should probably think seriously about getting one. In addition to making sure that you’re using a different provider (rather than the same provider operating under a different brand), make sure you also use a different connection medium. The best combination is fiber+cable but even a copper backup is better than nothing.
Choice your VoIP service vendor with care
The three criteria which should guide your choice of VoIP service vendor are support, security, and SIP. Price may matter if a decision comes down to the wire, but you should be prepared to pay for a high-quality VoIP service vendor because that’s how you get a high-quality VoIP service.
Support and security may be obvious, but SIP may need some explanation. In short, the SIP is the protocol that routes your calls. VoIP service vendors can route calls based on cost (this is literally called Least Cost Routing or LCR) or based on quality. If a VoIP service vendor is making a point of competing on price, then they are almost certainly doing the former. This is entirely standard in the consumer market but is generally a false economy for businesses.
If you’d like to speak to a reputable and experienced VoIP service partner in Roseville, please click here now to contact Salient IT.